The term assent refers to the verbal or written agreement to engage in a research study. Assent is generally applicable to children between the ages of 8 and 18 years, although assent may apply to other vulnerable populations also.

Vulnerable populations are those composed of individuals who are unable to give consent due to diminished autonomy. Diminished autonomy occurs when an individual is incapacitated, has restricted freedom, or is a minor. Understanding the relevance of assent is important because without obtaining the assent of a participant, the researcher has restricted the freedom and autonomy of the participant and in turn has violated the basic ethical principle of respect for persons. Assent with regard to vulnerable populations is discussed here, along with the process of obtaining assent ...

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